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West Hants sportsplex fundraising efforts kick off with hockey game featuring ex-NHLers, kitchen party

For the latest news coming from the Municipality of West Hants, visit this website.
For the latest news coming from the Municipality of West Hants, visit this website. - Carole Morris-Underhill
WINDSOR, N.S. —

With steel support beams currently being installed for the new West Hants sports complex, the project’s fundraising committee is ready to rally the community’s support.

Debbie Francis, a West Hants councillor and the chairwoman of the fundraising committee for the new sports complex, said they’ve planned an exciting fundraiser for Oct. 26.

The Hockey Shots and Boot Stompin’ Tour will be making its way to Windsor in support of the municipality’s fundraising efforts.

“I think it's positive, (it's) moving it forward. We need the community support and trying to get everyone on board,” said Francis in a phone interview.

The morning will start off with a sponsor brunch, where former NHL stars will meet the people they will be playing with and against that evening, as well as corporate sponsors, at the Spitfire Arms Pub.

Early in the afternoon, Francis said they hope to have an official ground-breaking ceremony at the construction site with the three levels of government involved in the project, and then a public information session that will showcase what the sports complex will feature. Details surrounding these two items are still in the works.

The primary fundraising events take place in the evening.

The hockey game, which will take place at 6:30 p.m. at the Hants Exhibition Arena, will feature local players and former NHL stars, including four-time Stanley Cup champion Mike Kryshelnyski, three-time Stanley Cup champions Mathieu Dandenault, Cliff Ronning, and Dave McLlwain, plus Stanley Cup winners Bryan Muir and Dave ‘Tiger’ Williams. Canadian Forces Sports Hall of Fame inductee Wade Sutton and country music star Aaron Pritchett are also confirmed participants.

The game announcer will be Ian Robinson.

As the first period comes to an end, Timbits hockey players will take the ice for a five-minute game with the stars.

A social kitchen party, which will take place following the game, will be held at the Hants County War Memorial Community Centre. Doors open at 8 p.m. The concert will feature the Pro Stars Band with TJ King and special performances by Kevin Davison and Pritchett.

The event will wrap up Oct. 27 when the celebrity athletes host a special clinic for young hockey players in the area.

Francis, who organized a similar event when the GFL Newport and District Arena was being rebuilt in Brooklyn, is hopeful the activities will raise some much-needed funds for the Windsor-based project. She hasn’t set a fundraising goal for the weekend.

“I just want it to be a success. I want the community involved, and I want the community to come out and have a great time at the end of the day,” said Francis.

Francis said it took a while to get fundraising efforts underway but the group is ready to thrust the project forward. A website is ready to launch, as is a Facebook page, and they’ve come up with a package to describe what is available for sponsorships and naming rights.

“It was slow coming; it definitely was. But, I think we're all on the right track now and want to stay there,” said Francis. “This would be a great way to kick off getting our community involved, to come together and have a fun event.

The fundraising committee doesn’t have a set amount they hope to raise Oct. 26, however, Francis said they’ve been tasked to raise about $2 million for the new sportsplex in total.


IF YOU GO

What: Hockey Shots and Boot Stompin’ Tour hockey game

When: Oct. 26 at 6:30 p.m.

Where: Hants Exhibition Arena

Tickets: $20 in advance; $25 at the door

What: Social Kitchen Party featuring Aaron Pritchett, TJ King and Kevin Davison

When: Oct. 26 at 8 p.m.

Where: Hants County War Memorial Community Centre

Tickets: $30 in advance; $35 at the door

For both events, advance tickets are available until Oct. 21 and can be purchased at the West Hants municipal office, Windsor Home Hardware, Brooklyn Home Hardware, or by contacting Debbie Francis at Dfrancis@westhants.ca or 902-790-1885.

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